GR TAC Hat Explained

GR TAC is a simple, military-style tactical hat. When I was in the service, I wore a hat 24/7. I was told they did all sorts of useful things like keep the sun out of your eyes and prevent sunburns — all true, by the way. The caps I liked the most broke in nicely and got better with use. My GR TAC is almost two now, and it’s my fave.

2″x3″ Velcro on the front is the most basic way to identify a tactical hat. Dirt and a nicely bent brim are other ways. When deployed, it’s common to see all kinds of special flag patches put on that identify friendly forces. Check out Reverse Flag Explained for more details on this.

TAC has a six panel construction. Four panels are Cordura, two are military-grade, non-stretch mesh. The Cordura we use for GR TAC is 1000D — same as we use in our rucksacks for its ripstop protection and strength to weight ratio. However, the 1000D Cordura used in the TAC is uncoated, which has more breathability but less water resistance. Uncoated Cordura still offers more water resistance than cotton, and we prioritized breathability.

The middle sections, made of military-grade, non-stretch mesh, allow for a lot of airflow to the wearer’s head. TAC hats have been happily worn by Green Berets in some of the hottest, harshest environments in the world.

I’ve never understood the buttons you’ll find on the tops of ballcaps, and I’ve never really liked them. Especially if you ever have to wear a helmet over the top, or hearing protection. Any pressure on the button does not feel good, and it’s unnecessary from a construction standpoint. So we removed it.

The first cap I was issued — with no button on top — was designed to be worn under a helmet.

But ballcaps are what the guys want to wear. Pictured above is Josh in Southern Iraq, at the range with hearing protection over the top of GR TAC. Another reason to have no button. As for the fit — a hat that’s too small doesn’t feel right. GR TAC has a low profile tactical hat fit, meaning that it fits securely by covering more of the wearer’s head.

Our label is internalized, similar to military caps. The GR TAC label is heat pressed onto the cotton sweatband. Using cotton for this purpose was a must — it feels better when worn and functions better as a sweatband.

Adjustable Velcro closure. Mine has some dirt on it, and in it no doubt.

The underside of the brim is a Velcro-friendly material, tough but very soft to the touch.

And allowing for all kinds of customization. One option is to Velcro a small push light to the underside. This would have been really useful when I was deployed, when we were training locals at night and I wanted to quickly and discreetly look at a list or a map.

You can customize the TAC with any patch of your choice. But no matter what, make it yours. The TAC only gets better with time, use, and abuse.

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  1. Paul says:

    Thanks for sharing the information behind the ‘why” and not just the “what” of the hat. 2 questions for you – where did you get the led that velcro’s onto the underside of the brim and where’s the reflective U.S. flag from? Thanks again gang – keep up the great work, it’s appreciated.

  2. Uri says:

    The velcro friendly fabric on the brim is also great to affix netting and turn the GR TAC into a sniper or a recon observation piece of gear when you need to obscure your face.
    Great hat, never let me down.

  3. James says:

    LED light on bottom: Use a small LED key-chain light, like a Photo Micro, and add adhesive hook tape (Velcro) to the side without the switch. You can get adhesive hook and loop tape at walmart. Boom, field craft magic. You now have a light that will stick to the brim.

  4. jason says:

    Hey Paul, james is right about the light, and you can find all different models at any type of outdoor store. As for the flag — that was one I was issued back in the day.

  5. Roland says:

    Hey Jason,

    I dig the TAC hat, but here in the Pacific Northwest most adventures takes us off the temperate lowlands and into the mountains where there’s a greater need for a hat to keep the heat in and moisture out. Do you guys have any plans for any cold weather gear at all?


  6. Michael says:

    Love the hat and the comments about keeping in warmth. Have suggested to a few companies to design same kind of cap in merino wool for wet/cold. Same profile/size..only in wool.
    Keep up great work!

  7. Jerry from Missoula says:

    OK…being a ballcap addict of sorts I was super stoked to have my TAC arrive in the mail.

    I have cut almost all the patches off of all my ball caps and am sewing velcro on them so I ca use them with my TAC.

    Excellent job guys. When you are in town..Big Sky brewery trip is on me

  8. Travis in MD says:

    After reading “GR TAC Explained” and the great comments, I’m stoked about seeing mine arrive in the mail. Hope it ships soon!

  9. John says:

    I got my TAC about a month ago, it is great. I was wondering if you guys have thought about making a fitted version?

  10. Dave Hanson says:

    Hey guys, where were you able to find a LED light with a switch?? I’ve looked everywhere and the only ones I can find are push-button which defeats the purpose of velcroing it to your hat.

  11. Mendi says:

    Would love to see a Youth sized hat. There’s got to be more small sized heads out there besides than me or at least with kids who need TAC hats! Also, for those looking for the micro light shown here, it’s called the Photon Micro-Light II. There’s also the Photon Micro-Light II PRO with a simple push for on, push for off interface no momentary though.

  12. John says:

    This is for “big head” Jason from “pinhead” John. I have a lot of Velcro left over after adjusting the cap. What would happen if I cut off the end of the Velcro?

  13. Brandon says:

    This is my new favourite hat. Easily the most comfortable hat I’ve had. I only wish that they were available in different colours so that I could get a half dozen of them. 🙂

    Thanks again for making such wonderful products.

  14. Nick Wynja says:

    John: I cut the end of the velcro off mine. I melted the cut ends just a little bit with a lighter then ran a needle and thread back and forth a couple times to sew it back up. Worked great.

  15. John says:

    Thanks Nick. I thought that was the way to go but I didn’t want to be the first. It worked great. It’s not as finished as what comes with the cap but with the shorter Velcro straps the cap fits better.

  16. Tom says:

    I love the hat! Easily one of the most comfortable hats I own. What do you recommend for cleaning it? Toss it in the washer?

  17. Brandon says:

    I heard a rumor on the GRT facebook page that the Tacs in colours won’t have the mesh panels in them. If that’s the case is there any chance of getting a one off multi-cam with black mesh panels? I pretty much need venting in hats and think the colour combo would make a slick range hat.


  18. jason says:

    It’s a tactical hat, so it’s sized a little larger than most – and the back is adjustable. We’ll have a smaller sized version out later in 2012.

  19. chris says:

    Best hat ever. Mine has thousands of miles on it already. Great for central american jungles. Also great for all day range sessions since there is no button to dent my skull! Worth every penny and looks better now. A lot better!

  20. Johnny B says:

    Just got my TAC and GR1 in the mail…thank you for making the TAC a man-size hat. I have a large cranium and get discouraged when the velcro closure is pushed to the limit.

  21. jason says:

    Bogdan, cool video. Yes, we have a Multicam and a Sand that we’ll have before too long. After that, we’re thinking of making every color that has ever existed. Just kidding, but only sort of. Thanks for the vote.

  22. DB says:

    Love my GR1, GR1 Field, and Brick Bag…ordered a Tac Hat…I must have a small head! Adjusted the vecro, but the hat still slips annoyingly on my ears – just doesn’t fit “right” if you know what I mean. What to do? Should I soak it in water and let it dry? Would that shrink it up a bit? Would love to be able to wear this hat, but as it fits right now, I doubt I ever will.


  23. Jon says:

    These are absolutely the best hats ever made. I have a full panel (coyote)for winter and a mesh (black)for summer. Never go anywhere with out one.

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